Professor Michelle Moulds

Professor Michelle Moulds

Professor Michelle Moulds


BA (Hons), 1996, Sydney
MPsych (Clinical), 1998, Sydney
PhD, 2003, UNSW

Contact details

Email: Professor Michelle Moulds
Fax: (02) 9385 3641

Research Summary

Research Areas: The goal of my research is advance our understanding of how repetitive thinking, such as rumination, maintains depression. My work is driven by a translational approach: I conduct basic science experiments in the laboratory with the long-term goal of translation to empirically supported, evidence-based interventions. My current research program is comprised of experimental and clinical studies that test questions about the consequences of rumination, particularly for memory, in individuals who are currently depressed, as well as those with a history of depression.

Current Research Projects:
Project: Rumination in Depression
Project: Repetitive Thinking: A Transdiagnostic Process


Selected publications:

Evoy, P.M., Hyett, M.P., Bank, S.R., Erceg-Hurn, D.M., Johnson, A.R., Kyron, M.J., Saulsman, L.M., Moulds, M.L., Grisham, J.R., Holmes, E.A., Moscovitch, D.A., Lipp, O.V., Campbell, B.N.C., & Rapee, R.M. (in press). Imagery-enhanced versus verbally-based group cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder: a randomised clinical trial. Psychological Medicine.

Singh, L., Espinosa, L., Ji, J.L., Moulds, M.L., & Holmes, E.A. (in press). Developing thinking around mental health science: The example of intrusive, emotional mental imagery after psychological trauma. Clinical Neuropsychiatry.

Kanstrup, M., Kontio, E., Geranmayeh, A., Olofsdotter Lauri, K., Moulds, M.L., & Holmes, E.A. (in press). A single case series using visuospatial task interference to reduce the number of visual intrusive memories of trauma with refugees. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy.

Wild J., Greenberg, N., Moulds, M.L., Sharp, M-L., Fear, N., Wessely, S., Harvey, S., & Bryant, R.A. (in press). Pre-incident training to build resilience in first responders: Recommendations on what to and what not to do..Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes.

Hart-Smith, L., & Moulds, M.L. (2020). Mode of processing and vantage perspective of emotional personal material: Abstract thinking is associated with observer recall of positive but not negative memories. Memory, 28, 576-581.

Hart-Smith, L., & Moulds, M.L. (2019). Abstract processing and observer vantage perspective in dysphoria. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 25, 177-191.

Dey, S., Newell, B.R., & Moulds, M.L. (2019). The relative effects of abstract versus concrete processing on proactivity in depression. Behavior Therapy, 50, 325-339.

Beames, J.R., O'Dean, S.M., Grisham, J.R., Moulds, M.L., & Denson, T.F. (2019). Anger regulation in interpersonal contexts: Anger experience, aggressive behavior, and cardiovascular reactivity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36, 1441-1458.

Dunn, B.D., Widnall, E., Reed, N., Taylor, R., Owens, C., Spencer, A., Kraag, G., Kok, G., Geschwind, N., Wright, K., Moulds, M.L., MacLeod, A., Handley, R., Richards, D., Campbell, J., & Kuyken, W. (2019). Evaluating Augmented Depression Therapy (ADepT): Study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 5, 63.

Holmes, E.A., Ghaderi, A., Harmer, C.J., Ramchandani, P.G., Cuijpers, P.G., Morrison, A.P., Roiser, J.P., Bockting, C.L.H., O'Connor, R.C., Shafran, R., Moulds, M.L., & Craske, M.G. (2018). The Lancet Psychiatry Commission on psychological treatments research in tomorrow's science. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5, 237-286.

Samtani, S., McEvoy, P.M., Mahoney, A.E.J., Werner-Seidler, A., Li, S.S.Y., McGill, B.C., Tockar, J., & Moulds, M.L. (2018). Examining a transdiagnostic measure of repetitive thinking in depressed, formerly depressed and never-depressed individuals. Journal of Affective Disorders, 229, 515-522. 

McEvoy, P.M., Hyett, M.P., Ehring, T., Johnson, S.L., Samtani, S., Anderson, R., & Moulds, M.L. (2018). Transdiagnostic assessment of negative repetitive thinking and responses to positive affect: Structure and predictive validity for depression, anxiety and mania symptoms. Journal of Affective Disorders, 232, 375-384.

Krans, J., Brown, A.D., & Moulds, M.L. (2018). Can an experimental self-efficacy induction through autobiographical recall modulate analogue posttraumatic stress symptoms? Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 58, 1-11. 

Dey, S., Joormann, J., Moulds, M.L., & Newell, B.R. (2018). The relative effects of abstract versus concrete rumination on the experience of post-decisional regret. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 108, 18-28.

Moulds, M.L., Black, M.J., Newby, J.M., & Hirsch, C.R. (2018). Repetitive negative thinking and its role in perinatal mental health. Psychopathology, 51, 161-166. 

Dey, S., Newell, B.R., & Moulds, M.L. (2018). The relative effects of abstract versus concrete thinking on decision-making in depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 110, 11-21.

Venkatesh, S., Moulds, M.L., & Mitchell, C.J. (2018). Testing for depressive realism in a clinically depressed sample. Behaviour Change, 35, 108-122.

Samtani, S., & Moulds, M.L. (2017). Assessing repetitive thought in clinical psychology: A critical review of existing measures. Clinical Psychology Review, 53, 14-28.

McEvoy, P.M., Moulds, M.L., Grisham, J.R., Holmes, E.A., Moscovitch, D.A., Hendrie, D., Saulsman, L.M., Lipp, O.V., Kane, R.T., Rapee, R.M., Hyett, M.P., & Erceg-Hurn, D.M. (2017). Assessing the efficacy of imagery-enhanced cognitive behavioural group therapy for social anxiety disorder: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 60, 34-41.

For a full listing of publications, please view my UNSW Research Gateway profile.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants


McEvoy, P.M., Moulds, M.L., Grisham, J.R., Holmes, E.A., Moscovitch, D., & Hendrie, D. (2016-2018). Imagery as an enhancer of cognitive behaviour therapy outcomes for social anxiety disorder: a randomised controlled trial. NHMRC Project Grant, $481 624.

Bryant, R.A., & Moulds, M.L. (2016-2018). Early intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder. NHMRC Project Grant, $670 987.

Bryant, R.A., & Moulds, M.L. (2013-2015). Treating prolonged grief disorder. NHMRC Project Grant, $442 002.

Moulds, M.L. (2011-2013). Rumination and deficits in the recall of positive autobiographical memories in depression. NHMRC Project Grant, $254 208.

Kemp, R.I., Moulds. M.L., Paterson, H., & Mullan, B. (2011-2013). Towards a safer workplace: promoting healthy work environments through strategic research in memory and behaviour change. ARC Linkage Grant, $154 332.

Denson, T., Zadro, L., & Moulds, M.L. (2010-2013). Psychological factors that lead to risky, aggressive, and impaired driving. ARC Linkage Grant, $300 000.

Moulds, M.L. (2009-2013). Understanding and predicting the role of memory in depression recurrence. ARC Discovery Grant / Australian Research Fellowship, $350 000.

Denson, T., Grisham, J.R., & Moulds, M.L. (2009-2011). Regulating anger: Cognitive reappraisal, emotional suppression, and post-event rumination. ARC Discovery Grant, $170 000.

Bryant, R.A., & Moulds, M.L. (2007-2009). Cognitive behaviour therapy of complicated grief. NHMRC Project Grant, $378 750.

Zadro, L., & Moulds, M.L. (2006-2008). Developing strategies to ameliorate the aversive effects of ostracism. ARC Discovery Grant, $200 000.

Moulds, M.L. (2005-2007). Rumination and memory functioning in depression. ARC Discovery Grant, $150 000.


2014 Outstanding Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision Award, Arc Postgraduate Council, UNSW

2013 Fellow, Association for Psychological Science

2013 Early Career Award, Stress and Anxiety Research Society (STAR)

2012 Scopus Young Researcher of the Year: Runner up, Humanities and Social Sciences

2010 NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Australian Institute of Policy and Science

2010 NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year, Australian Institute of Policy and Science

Other Information

Editorial Roles

Consulting Editor: Clinical Psychological Science

Editorial Board:

  • Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
  • Behaviour Research and Therapy
  • Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
  • Journal of Experimental Psychopathology